Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns in Week 17: 4 stats to know - Aaron Kasinitz
Browns rank second in the NFL with 30 takeaways
Cleveland has a speedy defense loaded with playmakers. Defensive end Myles Garrett has 12.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles, while cornerback Denzel Ward and safety Damarious Randall have combined for seven interceptions. All in all, the Browns’ defense has forced multiple turnovers in 10 of 15 games this season and 10 players on the team have picked off at least one pass.
Baker Mayfield’s posted a 120 passer rating or better in four of six games
The Ravens held Mayfield in check for most of the matchup in October until the top pick escaped the pocket on a third down in overtime and made a throw that set up a game-winning field goal. Baltimore was facing a young QB trying to find his footing in the NFL in that game. This Sunday, the Ravens will face a signal-caller whose comfortable and turning in top-notch play on a routine basis.
Baltimore lost the turnover battle (2 to 1) and allowed three more sacks (5) than they recorded (2) in the Week 5 overtime loss to Cleveland.
Ravens using gut-wrenching pain to help gain playoff berth - Jamison Hensley
“Definitely, last year doesn’t sit well with us,” cornerback Brandon Carr said of the 31-27 loss to Cincinnati. “We had a prime opportunity to extend our season, and we failed at it. We didn’t finish the job, so that’s why this year, the art of finish is big for us. Just finding ways to win this game by any means necessary, emptying your tank, giving it your all, and then we’ll reload for next week once we get there.”
“We all know where we’ve been. We don’t need to talk about anything. We all know,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ve all learned from all of our past experiences this year, last year, previous years, all those things, the guys who have been here. The guys who were here, that drives us, certainly. When you have a gut-wrenching experience, a tough one like we had the last two years, you take those with you, and it makes you stronger.”
“At the beginning of the season, if we say we control our destiny going into the last game, we can win the division, we’ve all signed up for that,” Harbaugh said. “That’s the goal. So, we’re excited about that, and now we get to play a championship game, and let’s go.”
The Ravens are 8-5 in December games and 9-8 against division opponents since 2016.
QB Index, Week 17: Previewing offseason QB market - Gregg Rosenthal
Trade or cut candidates
3) Joe Flacco: While he only turns 34 years old next month, Flacco’s lack of mobility and back issues should guarantee he will be taking a pay cut to play somewhere else. His contract makes him almost impossible to trade.
Like others on this list, Flacco may see fewer opportunities than similar available quarterbacks in previous years. There aren’t enough teams needing a starter to inspire bidding wars.
Rosenthal ranks Flacco behind Jameis Winston and Ryan Tannehill, two quarterbacks from teams that could potentially be willing to trade for Joe.
Stats and Facts: 10 things you have to know about Browns-Ravens - Nathan Zegura
In his first meeting with the Ravens, Mayfield threw for 342 yards, the second-most they have allowed to any quarterback all season.
The Browns are 7-0 when holding their opponent to 20 or fewer points this year, including their first win over the Ravens, who managed just nine points against the Browns in that first meeting.
The Ravens have been running the ball at an elite level since Lamar Jackson was named the starting quarterback. They are averaging 218.5 yards rushing per game with Jackson under center, which is the most in the NFL, and their 1,311 yards rushing since Week 11 are 303 more than the second-place team (Seattle) during that span.
In terms of yards allowed per play, the Browns defense ranks sixth against the pass and 14th against the run.